After a divorce, who will be responsible for the mortgage? Who will be responsible for the family’s IRS debt? What about the credit card bills? The issue of marital debt division is just as important as the issue of division of marital assets, and it should not be overlooked. At Heller & Heller, P.A. in Coral Springs, we make certain to address the issue of debts during a divorce.
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Alimony is based on one spouse’s need for spousal support and the other spouse’s ability to pay and is decided on a case-by-case basis. When one spouse has been financially dependent in a long-term marriage, the judge is more likely to award spousal maintenance. Recently, the Florida Legislature set out new guidelines that lay out what is typically considered a short-term, moderate-term or long-term marriage:
Some spouses need support on a short-term basis to give them time to adjust to life after divorce. The length of this can vary, depending on the need. It might be needed for education or retraining, or might simply be a short-term bridge to cover expenses during the first year after a divorce.
Especially when there is a great income disparity between parties, bridge-the-gap alimony allows a spouse to get back on their feet.
This applies to situations when other types of alimony are not appropriate. Most commonly, moderate-term marriages fall under this category.
In a long-term marriage where one spouse was financially dependent, spousal maintenance may be awarded permanently — or until the spouse receiving the support remarries. In both cases — short-term and long-term — the judge will consider the other spouse’s ability to pay.
Whether you need spousal maintenance or you are the spouse who might be asked to pay, you need to know your rights. Alimony may be affected by other factors such as property division. After years of paying or if incomes change, you may want to ask the court about modifications to the alimony order.
If you want a divorce lawyer who is easy to talk to, who plans a legal strategy based on your objectives, and who has a sincere concern for the results as well as the costs, we look forward to talking with you. Contact our Coral Springs office to talk to an attorney.